A Week In Dallas, TX, On A $62,000 Salary

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Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: a graphic designer working in real estate who makes $62,000 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on a matcha latte.
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Industry: Real Estate
Age: 25
Location: Dallas, TX
Salary: $62,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,900
Monthly Freelance Income: ~$1,000
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,490
Student Loan Payment: $0. (My grandparents and parents paid for my tuition.)
Health, Vision & Dental Insurance: $100
HSA: $50. (My company pays the rest.)
ClassPass: $55
Utilities: $20
Internet: $42
DirectTV Now: $38
Spotify: $11
Hulu/Spotify/HBO GO: $0. (I use my brother's accounts, because he is the best.)
Amazon Prime: $0. (I use my parents' account.)
401(k): $300.
Savings: $500-$1,000. (One of my New Year's Resolutions was to double my savings each year. I did it last year, but this year is proving to be a bit harder than I expected.)
Brokerage Account: $100. (I feel really blessed that my family paid for my education, so I opened this account solely for my future children's tuition.)
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Day One

7:45 a.m. — It's Sunday. It feels glorious to wake up past 6:30, and I soak up each minute as I slowly wake up to my soothing piano melody alarm. I make my bed and begin my usual morning skincare routine, which consists of ice rolling my face (something I have gotten literally ALL of my friends hooked on). It wakes me up and makes me feel like I have Leighton Meester's skin and Blake Lively's body (it's as much mentally therapeutic as it is physically). I apply Clinique Lotion (I swear by this stuff) as well as Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. I am about to go for a run, so I throw on tinted sunscreen.
8 a.m. — I grab my AirPods and I'm out the door for a short run to my favorite coffee shop. It's nestled in one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Dallas so I get some views with my run. The route I've planned is about four miles and it's tougher than I expected ... maybe no half marathon for me this month. I make it and get my usual — an iced lavender matcha latte, plus a chocolate croissant. I sit outside and enjoy my purchases whilst contemplating Uber-ing home, but realize how absurd that is and begin my trek back. $10
9:15 a.m. — On my way home, I spot a table of girls selling lemonade. (My heart!) One of them runs across the street over to me and asks if I would be interested in buying some (all proceeds go to Children's Hospital). I can hardly bare to tell her that I don't have any cash with me. I am surprised by her reaction, as she offers me some anyway because I look tired. HA! I politely decline again, but decide that if time allows I'll go home for cash and come back – kindness like hers should be encouraged.
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10:30 a.m. — I'm home, showered, and ready for church. I grab $10 to take back to the lemonade girls. It has been unseasonably rainy in Dallas this week (which my inner Seattle girl is all about), and I was worried they might have gone inside, but to my great surprise they are still there! I pull over and the little girl recognizes me, rushes over to give me a hug, and introduces me to all of her friends. The group has grown to about 10 girls and I'm seriously considering riding scooters in the street with them until I remember I have about 10 minutes until church starts. I thank them again for their kindness and generosity and say a quick prayer to myself that the the rain holds off for them. Feeling full of joy and happiness, I make it to my spot in the pew with no time to spare. $10
12:45 p.m. — I head to Central Market with my mental shopping list in tow. Going to Central Market is one of my favorite parts of my week. My friends and I have a joke that one day I'll meet my husband in the milk aisle. (A girl can dream.) I leave with broccoli, an artichoke, brussels sprouts, green bell peppers, green onions, asparagus, spinach, serrano peppers, shishito peppers, sweet onion, lemons, limes, chicken, ground turkey, crab fingers, brown cinnamon sugar oatmeal, quinoa, chia seeds, tortilla chips, edamame hummus, eggs, Siggi's yogurt, blackberries, raspberries, a six-pack of Dallas Blonde beer, lime and passionfruit La Croix, a few grapefruit Topo Chicos, and a few bottles of Holy Kombucha. Like I said... I love the grocery store. $110
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2 p.m. — I live right next to a Trader Joe's, so I pop in there on my way home to get fresh flowers. This is by far one of my most frivolous indulgences, but I can't help it. It takes me back to when I spent a semester in Germany and my host mother would always have fresh flowers from her garden. Instant happiness. I grab three bouquets and decide I'll mix them and make my own at home. I also can't pass up a bag of blood oranges. $15
2:30 p.m. — I am literally starving and have purchased enough food to host a small Thanksgiving. I live alone, so it really hits me when I over-purchase, but I bring my lunch to work every day. I heat up jasmine rice I already have in the freezer from TJ's, and cook up broccoli to eat with it. I constantly joke about becoming a vegetarian because I'm too lazy to prepare meat. After my raging hunger is cured, I get to meal prepping. I add taco seasoning I already had to the ground turkey, and mix it with onion and serrano peppers. I also make a stir-fry with chicken, egg, onion, serrano, and teriyaki. I craft my flower arrangements and realize it's basically dinnertime, so I sauté the crab fingers in butter and heat up asparagus risotto from TJ's.
9 p.m. — I wash my face with Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, exfoliate, apply Fresh Face Serum, add some Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, watch several episodes of The Crown, and call it a night.
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Daily Total: $145

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — It's Monday, but it's a holiday, so I have the day off. I ice roll, make a bowl of brown cinnamon sugar oatmeal, throw raspberries and blackberries in a bowl, and curl up in my reading chair by the window. I crack the balcony door open and start a new book that I just got on Amazon: Adam Grant's Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. Rain and a new book are the two best smells ever.
11 a.m. — My friend, H., texts me and asks if I know anyone who would want to go to Colorado with him...Hello! Me! (Insert girl-raising-hand emoji.) So we book our flights, and today is already the best (minus the gaping hole in my wallet now). I can excuse the absurdly priced ticket because my family grew up near Vail, and we still have my grandmother's childhood home there. It is truly my favorite place in the world and I can't wait to share this part of my life with H. $690
1 p.m. — Feeling super poor but also super amped. I watch highlight reels from the Olympics and one of my favorite snowboarding documentaries: The Art of Flight. Then tacos for lunch. Feeling thankful that I meal prepped yesterday.
3:30 p.m. — This rainy day has me feeling super cozy, so I text a friend to see if she wants to catch the current exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. She does! I swing by and grab her and we make it just in time to get tickets. The exhibit right now is Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins. I'm a member here (so our tickets are free) and have seen the exhibit several times, but it's my friend's first time seeing it and she is in awe. We swing by some works that feel like old friends: a couple Monets, Picassos, and Pollocks. It's a quick trip, but I missed her, and we catch up and vow to never go this long without seeing each other again. She was my first friend at college. Crazy how lucky you get with friendships sometimes.
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5:30 p.m. — Drop her off, drive home, and heat up stir-fry real quick because I have pilates at 6:30 (which I booked it on ClassPass, so it's no charge). I see why people are so on this meal prep kick. Makes saving money so much easier! I'm kind of sore from my run yesterday and am excited to stretch it out, but also afraid of doing pilates on sore muscles. My favorite instructor is teaching, though, and I go at this time every Monday. Keeps me sane.
9 p.m. — My body love-hates me. I take a hot shower and blow-dry my hair so my morning self will thank me tomorrow. It's going to be an early morning because there's a pitch that came in over the long weekend that's due EOD tomorrow. I do my Fresh and Bobbi Brown routine and then I'm out.
Daily Total: $690

Day Three

6:15 a.m. — I am a perpetual snoozer...and I truly don't think I will ever change. I snooze until I'm conscious enough to remember why I have to be at work early. I hop out of bed, make it, and turn on my Illy espresso machine so it can heat up while I pick an outfit. Throw a pod in the machine, add half a Splenda, froth the milk, and my espresso is ready and heavenly. Makeup, outfit, and I'm out the door. It takes me about 15 minutes to get to work, even though I only live about three and a half miles from my office. That's downtown Dallas for you.
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7 a.m. — At my desk and seriously wishing I had done some work yesterday (said no one ever). This pitch is going to be more than any of us bargained for. I get all of the info I need from the guys on the team and get started on compiling all of the pieces I'll need to create to get this ready for them. I hardly have time to think about eating breakfast today, but Siggi's yogurt to the rescue.
2 p.m. — This day has gotten away from me, but I take about 15 minutes to eat some of my stir-fry. The brain break is good and just the pick-me-up I need.
7:15 p.m. — Finally home. I completed what was needed for today and am thankful I work with such great people who pull through on crazy deadlines. I'm past hunger, so I eat a handful of turkey pepperoni, plus broccoli and jasmine rice. Then I watch The Crown and call it a night.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

5:30 a.m. — I have SoulCycle at 6 a.m. Brush teeth, throw on clothes, grab a water and my SoulCycle shoes. (I broke down and bought my own pair, because paying $3 each time to rent shoes adds up.) SoulCycle isn't on ClassPass, so I have to pay. $30
7 a.m. — Home and feeling pretty proud that it's hardly 7 a.m. and I've already burned 650 calories. I have oatmeal, a protein shake, and fruit, and then shower. Afterwards, I ice roll, get ready quickly, and arrive at work at 8.
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12:30 p.m. — Pretty standard day. I need to take photos of a building downtown for a project I'm working on, so I drive over there, park, and pay the meter with a mobile parking app I have on my phone ($0.50). My friend M. works in the building, so we grab Snappy Salads ($12) and catch up about the weekend, even though we spent most of it together. I head back to my office. $12.50
3 p.m. — I have a press check at our local printer for an internal project we're doing. I'm getting cards embossed and we're checking to make sure the emboss turns out like it should. They look great and I'm super excited to see the final product. I pay $1 for parking. $1
6 p.m. — Afternoon is smooth and I'm home by 6. I do a load of laundry, mop, and vacuum. I usually do this on the weekends, but lately they have been so jam-packed I haven't had time.
7:45 p.m. — I make a spinach salad, do my skin routine, work on a freelance project I'm doing, and call it an early night.
Daily Total: $43.50

Day Five

7 a.m. — I'm not working out this morning, so I snooze until 7. I'm oddly awake (probably due to the nine-ish hours of sleep I got last night), so I opt for chamomile tea instead of coffee.
8 a.m. — I'm at my desk by 7:45. My schedule at work is pretty flexible, but I tend to get there between 7:30 and 8. My boss and I eat oatmeal together and try fun, new fresh fruits we find (one of our morning rituals when time allows). She's hilarious and I love this time with her before the frenzy of the day starts.
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2 p.m. — I take a quick second to heat up taco meat with cheese. I never said this life was glamorous.
6:30 p.m. — Finally home. I have a date tonight and my day was so hectic I haven't even had a chance to be nervous about it! It's with a guy, R., who I've been seeing, but with both of our busy schedules, we don't get to see each other too much. He tells me it's my turn to pick. I choose a new French restaurant I know he'll love. I've only been for drinks, so I'm excited to see how the food compares.
7:30 p.m. — He picks me up at 7:30. I called ahead to get a reservation, but the earliest one was 9:30, so we just sit at the bar (which is honestly better for people-watching anyway). The sommelier talks us into a Moroccan red and we're feeling kind of adventurous. I get the ricotta gnocchi with prosciutto, and R. gets the duck. It's fun to finally see him after such a hectic week. R. always picks up the tab. (This semi-annoys me, but really it's just his giving and considerate nature, which are two qualities I really like about him.)
10:30 p.m. — We laugh until we cry and can honestly keep going for hours, but I have a super early morning, so R. drops me off and I embark on my usual nightly routine.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

5:30 a.m. — Seriously regretting booking this 6 a.m. SoulCycle class, but you bet I'm going because I paid $30 for it. SoulCycle always gets me when I need it most. It may be cultish and excessive and overpriced, but it is also a supportive community. This instructor always closes out his upbeat classes with a slower song and gives us a moment to reflect on why we're here and why we're making the effort to better ourselves. His words this morning hit me just where I need them. $30
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7 a.m. — It's a refrigerator omelet morning because: 1. I have time, and 2. I have way too much uncooked food in my fridge. Eggs, onions, green onions, asparagus, spinach, garlic, and serranos later, and I'm thinking I should probably audition for Top Chef.
8:15 a.m. — At my desk, I sip coffee from the office kitchen. It's Friday and someone brought donuts (cue angels singing).
8:30 a.m. — Another surprise pitch comes in and the day goes by super fast. I munch on whatever I can get my hands on throughout the day, knowing I'll have a big dinner.
7 p.m. — I rush home, shower, and get ready because I'm late for dinner with friends. I haven't seen these girls since we all went on vacation in January, so I'm pretty pumped to (nearly) all be back in one place.
10 p.m. — We try a new sister restaurant to one that we already love, and it lives up to the hype. The drinks and food are great and my friend pays for us to Uber five blocks to a bar (yes...but in our defense, it was raining and we were in heels). The door guy at the bar knows us and greets us with a hug. We see so many people we know, it feels like college. For a big city, Dallas is so unbelievably small. We contemplate going somewhere else, but decide to order pizza and call it a night. I Venmo my friend for the pizza, and Uber the two miles home ($8.50). $60
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Daily Total: $90

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — The Arboretum here in Dallas does a members-only early access from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The tulip exhibit has just begun and I am so excited to go without there being wild children there, so I set my alarm to make it happen.
6:50 a.m. — I'm up and out the door, book and yoga mat in tow. I head to my favorite coffee shop to grab a coffee – it's about 65 and sunny (the holy grail of Dallas weather). I order a small skinny vanilla latte and get a box of organic raspberries. Call my mom and dad and then my grandparents on my way, the only five people I know up at this hour. My parents live pretty close and we talk every day, but one of my grandmas lives in another state and my other grandma and papa live several hours away, so our morning calls are one of my favorite parts of the day. $12
7:20 a.m. — I get to the Arboretum, and since I'm a member, admission and parking are free. In two hours, this place will be a literal madhouse. I throw out my yoga mat in my favorite spot overlooking the lake and do a couple quick salutations to get in the right headspace. I do self-reflecting on 2018 thus far and am thankful I made this time for myself. This moment brings me back to when I went on a solo trip to Seattle for my 25th birthday, and I'm reminded how much moments of independence mean to me in a world where solitude is so often regarded as loneliness. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I can't help but smile at how far I've come.
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9:30 a.m. — I almost forget I'm meeting a couple friends for SoulCycle at 11:45, so I make a quick run to Central Market. I'm heading to Colorado next week, so I grab the weekly essentials. I call my brother and we catch up on each other's weekends. He's jealous I'm going snowboarding, but we throw around dates for a weekend we can take all of our friends to the house this summer. He's only two years younger than me and we went to the same college, so we're very close. He is truly the most hilarious, intelligent, genuine, witty, and effortlessly genuine person I know and I am honestly much cooler because I am his sister. I pray he ends up in Dallas after he finishes graduate school. $30
10:30 a.m. — I have about an hour to kill before SoulCycle. I always have my ENO Hammock (Christmas gift from my brother) in my car, so I drive over to my favorite spot to continue my book while laying in my hammock. This has already been the best day, and it's hardly begun!
11:45 a.m. — Time to cycle! My two friends have never been before, so it's always exciting for me to have a hand in exposing people I care about to something that has given me so much in the last year. One friend opts for earplugs. She's a grandma in a 30-year-old's body and I absolutely love it. She tells me about a supper club she and her husband are in and says I should join next week. I am ecstatic and touched to be included. $30
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1 p.m. — I am literally famished by the time class ends, so we walk next door to get poke bowls. I cannot pass up spicy tuna with bamboo rice! This place is so absurdly priced, but worth it. I also get a yuzu lemonade. We sit outside and enjoy the heat of the sun on our skin. $15
1:30 p.m. — I get a phone call from my friend who I'm meeting for coffee. She wants to go to the coffee shop I went to this morning. It's one of my favorite places in Dallas, so I oblige. This time I try a charcoal latte, because it's new and I can't pass up a trendy over-priced latte. I say bye to my friend and we decide to book Pilates for tomorrow at 2:30. My body is hesitant after SoulCycle, but my brain wins. I'm on ClassPass, so it doesn't cost me anything outside of my monthly fee. $6
2:30 p.m. — I go with a friend to see Call Me by Your Name. She gets the tickets and I get the popcorn and drinks. The movie is incredible: beautifully executed and compositionally alluring. I'm somewhat socially-drained and super tired from my early wake-up call, so ya girl heads home for a nap. $20
7 p.m. — I wake up to a million missed calls from several friends. I had hopes of staying in tonight, but it doesn't look like that's going to be received very well. Because I live alone, I'm always touched by the friends who reach out to me. It's so easy to get lost in the shuffle unintentionally, that the added effort motivates me to shower and get ready.
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8:30 p.m. — I Uber to meet some friends at the Truck Yard. It's the coolest place – all outdoor seating with multiple food trucks, which is great for a group of friends that can't decide what to eat. I order two beers and my friend grabs me a hot dog. I take one bite and instantly regret the hot dog, but eat it anyway because I'm so hungry. I finish my beer and head to meet another group of friends. $25
10 p.m. — They're just wrapping up dinner, so I sit for a bit and catch up with everyone. The group is comprised of my closest college friends, and my heart might just burst, I'm so happy to be with all of them. We go back to my friend's apartment, drink beer, and then go to the rooftop of a new hotel that just opened. We run into guys we met on a cruise in college (how strange!) and we catch up on what all's been going on. The views are dazzling and I'm taken back in time as we sip gin and tonics. $15
12 a.m. — We stop at one more bar. I order a tequila neat, which has been my recent go-to, but the combo of the nights' other drinks has me wishing I opted for water. A couple of us have an early morning, so I ditch the drink (ugh, what a waste) and Uber home ($7.50). I wash my face, add my serums, and chug a glass of water before going to bed. $20
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Daily Total: $173
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